As state launches $45 billion Rebuild Illinois program, Comptroller warns no checks from her office unless projects certified in compliance  


August 13, 2019

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza signed an executive order Tuesday committing her office to monitor state contracts for compliance with the Prevailing Wage Act. 

Executive Order 19-01 (copy attached) outlines steps the Office of Illinois Comptroller will take to ensure contractors comply with prevailing wage. This includes monitoring grants awarded for the new $45 billion Rebuild Illinois program and other public works programs, directing her prevailing wage enforcement officer to address queries from labor about these contracts, maintaining a prevailing wage inquiry form on the comptroller’s website, and providing support to the Illinois Department of Labor, which has responsibility for investigating and enforcing compliance with the act.

“The working men and women of Illinois fought for and secured a promise that they will be paid a prevailing wage on worksites across the state, and I will do my part to make sure that promise is honored,” Comptroller Mendoza said as she signed the order in her office at the Capitol Tuesday.

“Rebuild Illinois has the potential to change the landscape of Illinois. My office will do everything it can to lend support to the Department of Labor, bring more transparency to the construction program and hold state contractors accountable for paying fair wages.”

Gov. JB Pritzker and the General Assembly fashioned the $45 billion Rebuild Illinois capital construction plan that will bring long-overdue public works projects to every corner of the state. Before checks are issued from the state to pay for those projects, the Illinois Office of Comptroller will ensure that documents are on file showing contractors are in compliance with the state’s Prevailing Wage Act (820 ILCS 130). 

“This is so important to the men and women around Illinois who get up early every day to carefully build roads and new schools and operate heavy machinery, and who expect a fair wage to take care of their families,” said Michael Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. “Comptroller Mendoza’s commitment to make sure state public works contracts comply with the prevailing wage is welcome news to workers all over Illinois.”

The comptroller’s office is a repository for all contractor and vendor information, such as contracts, payments and payroll, which makes the office a natural partner in helping the Illinois Department of Labor monitor prevailing wage compliance.

“We greatly appreciate Comptroller Mendoza putting these protections in place to create a level playing field, ensuring that contractors on state public works construction projects comply with the Prevailing Wage Act,” said Mike Macellaio, president of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Council. “It’s that sort of commitment to standing behind the hard-working men and women of Illinois that assures us the state’s checkbook is in capable hands.”

Rebuild Illinois is expected to support an estimated 540,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs throughout the six-year project, according to the governor’s office.